Barely a week after the Central Student Government decided to back the Black Student Union and it’s demands for a university-wide war against racism – or what the BSU and the Coleman administration have defined to be racism – a CSG assembly of bumptious, would-be-politicians, passed a resolution which addresses minority enrollment, the creation of a scholarship for undocumented students, and official CSG support for activism that promotes racial diversity on campus. It also added Native Americans and Native Alaskans to a running list of minority groups who are supposedly in need of more representation on campus. CSG’s resolution seems to imply that racism and a lack of racial diversity are one and the same thing.
Though the Coleman administration and the CSG, which are currently involved in a lawsuit relating to the issue of intellectual diversity, have yet to announce whether it will be supporting similar legislation to promote diversity of thought, the co-author of the bill, Samuel Molnar, was clear that HIS bill would have nothing to do with that:
“This isn’t a resolution about free speech, it’s a resolution about racism.” (Quoted from the Michigan Daily)
A key point in Molnar’s original bill read that “… CSG defends the right of minority and anti-racist students to speak the plain truth about racism …”
When CSG President Michael Proppe proposed an amendment to this, which stated that “CSG defends the right to freedom of speech for all students,” it was turned down, but the CSG assembly eventually decided that it could lend some limited support to free speech if it directly related to combating racism. The final amendment reads, “CSG defends the right of all students to speak the plain truth about racism,” which offers only a minor and likely to be ignored change: non minority students are now also protected when speaking out about how racist they themselves are.
The University of Michigan’s free speech codes currently score a “Red Light,” the lowest a school can be ranked from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which is unlikely to change if the administration adopts CSG’s resolution.
Prior to discussing the bill, speakers from By Any Means Necessary, or BAMN, a quaintly self-described “radical” group for affirmative action which has taken up the noble (and now protected) practice of branding students on campus who disagree with them as “KKK supporters,” asked CSG to pledge fielty to their goal of 10-percent minority enrollment…by any means necessary.
Christian Mays, in perhaps one of the few displays of integrity during the entire two hour debate, noted that BAMN’s “past behavior” was aggressive, and that Affirmative Action should be discussed separately from today’s resolution. (From the Daily) CSG Vice President Bobby Dishell also noted that an official stance on affirmative action, and other national policy issues, would not be a productive use of CSG’s time because the student representatives (thankfully) don’t have a role in what the dark suits in Washington decide for the rest of us.
It remains to be seen whether or not the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs will adopt the bill, but the administration has shown support for this particular brand of diversity in the past, and if precedent is any evidence, students can expect some new changes on campus coming soon.